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RIO DE JANEIRO-In one of the largest real estate transactions in Brazil, Brascan Brazil Real Estate Partners, a retail property fund managed by Brookfield Asset Management, has agreed to purchase a portfolio of five upscale shopping centers in Brazil from the Malzoni Investment Group for approximately US$965 million.

The centers are: the upscale Patio Higienopolis in Sao Paulo; Paulista in Sao Paulo, generally ranked as one of the top 10 centers in the country in terms of sales per square meter; West Plaza in Sao Paulo, one of the busiest centers in the country, with 30 million visitors annually; Botafogo Praia, a vertical center located in one of the most affluent areas in Rio de Janeiro; and Vila Olimpia, opening in Sao Paulo in April 2009. Three of the centers also will undergo expansions by 2009.

“Our malls are strategically located in supply-constrained high- growth markets and provide us with a strong position to continue the expansion plans of the fund,” said Bayard Lucas de Lima, CEO of BBREP, in the press release announcing the deal. “Its assets serve the wealthiest and most dense population centers in the country, and will allow us to gradually expand to other dynamic markets. Brazil’s real estate market is booming, its population is young and growing, its economy is expected to grow faster than the developed world and a mortgage market is only just beginning to be developed.”

The acquisition is BBREP’s eighth this year and brings its total shopping center investments to 15 in Brazil since its inception in September 2006. After this acquisition, BBREP will have a total portfolio of 229.3 thousand square meters (2.5 million square feet), one of the largest in the country.

Brookfield is traded on both the New York and Toronto stock exchanges. Other North American companies, including Cadillac Fairview Properties, CBL & Associates Properties, Developers Diversified Realty Corp. General Growth Properties and Ivanhoe Cambridge, have also invested in Brazil.

Brascan Brazil, an affiliate company held by Brookfield Asset Management, is one of the longest standing international companies operating in Brazil, with more than 100 years of history. Brascan currently has over R$8.5 billion of property, power and infrastructure assets under management in Brazil. Brookfield Asset Management has approximately US$90 billion of assets under management.

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